May 25, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
No. 24-ranked Stanford (30-20, 12-12 Pac-10) will play its final weekend across the Bay when it travels to No. 23-ranked Cal (31-18, 13-11 Pac-10) for the final three Pac-10 games of the year. Cal and Stanford will play one game on Friday at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday in a doubleheader starting at noon at Cal. Cal's likely rotation will be Erik Johnson (6-2, 1.94 ERA), Justin Jones (7-5, 3.24 ERA) and Dixon Anderson (4-3, 4.04 ERA), while Stanford will counter with Mark Appel (4-6, 3.17 ERA), Danny Sandbrink (3-1, 3.50 ERA) and Jordan Pries (4-5, 3.86 ERA). NCAA Regional announcements occur on Memorial Day at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN. Stanford enters the final week after taking two of three from No. 27-ranked Arizona and enter Tuesday's contest having won nine of its last 12 games. Tyler Gaffney enters the final weekend on a 15-game hit streak.
All home games will be webcast on CBS College Sports' All-Access paid service through the gostanford.com website. All games will be on KZSU, kzsu.stanford.edu and on your iPhone by downloading the Stanford App and then listening to KZSU.
Inside the Numbers
The Cardinal finished up the regular season 18-8 at home this season and 12-2 in midweek games. It is also 12-13 on the road. It is 9-11 against top-25 opponents. The Cardinal have played six top-15 opponents in weekend series, losing four of those six series. Stanford has been swept just once (No. 9 Oregon State) and swept one opponent (Washington). It has won six games in its last at-bat, including two this past weekend.
Stanford in the Rankings
Stanford moved up to No. 24 in the USA Today / Coaches Poll and are No. 26 in Collegiate Baseball. It is unranked in Baseball America. The Cardinal have been ranked in the top-30 all season and at least in the top-25 in all but two weeks. Stanford began the season No. 10 and moved up to No. 8 on February 21. Stanford's RPI according to boydsworld to begin the week is 18.
(On 2/22, Stan. 3-2, on 4/25, Stan. 9-5, May 27-28 at Cal)
Series: Stanford 183-98-1 (since 1959); Last: Stanford 2-0 in 2011
Stanford won the first non-conference game 3-2 back on February 22 when Cal was No. 17 and then beat the Bears again 9-5 when the Bears were No. 20. Stanford swept the 2010 Pac-10 series and lost a midweek affair last year. Jake Stewart is 5-for-9 in the two games, with four RBIs. Jordan Pries pitched four shutout innings in the first meeting. Previously Stanford had dropped each of the last three conference series (2007-09). The series was the site for the orginal axe. The Axe, which debuted on April 13, 1899, lasted one day before Cal students swiped it at a Stanford-Cal baseball game on April 14 in The City. It stayed on the Berkeley campus for 31 years.
About the Bears: David Esquer, a former Stanford great who won a national title with the Cardinal in 1987, is at the helm having sent the Bears to an NCAA Regional two times in the last three years. Austin Booker is batting .335 with 22 RBIs, while all-conference infielder Tony Renda has a .330 average with a team-best 38 RBIs, while Vince Bruno is batting .313 with 26 runs. Cal is hitting .286 as a team. On the mound, thanks to a 2.80 ERA-- the second-best ERA in the Pac-10, reliever Kyle Porter has a 1.87 ERA and 4-0 record over 22 games and weekend starter Erik Johnson is the staff ace with a 6-2 record, 1.94 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 83.2 innings. Justin Jones (7-5) is a seven-game winner with a 3.24 ERA. Cal has dropped two of its last three two Pac-10 series to UCLA, Oregon State and Arizona State. Its lone Pac-10 series win over the last month came against Oregon three weekends ago. Cal is coming off a 9-2 Tuesday win at Pacific.
Sixteen NCAA Regionals will take place June 3-6, eight Super Regionals will take place in a best of three series, June 10-13, and the College World Series, in its first year at TD Ameritrade Ballpark, starts June 18. Selections for the 64-team tournament will take place Memorial Day, live on ESPN with a half-hour telecast at 9:30 a.m. (PDT), Monday, May 30 with a selection show.
The Major League Draft will run from June 6 to 8, with the first round at 4 p.m. PT on June 6, rounds 2-30 on June 7 starting at 9 a.m. PT and finishing on June 8 to through round 50 starting at 9 a.m. PT. Stanford had five players drafted off of last year's club.
The final weekend will be a battle between first place Oregon State (17-7), who has a one game lead over Arizona State (16-8) and UCLA (16-8). Oregon State closes out with Oregon, while ASU and UCLA go head to head in Tempe. Six teams have 30 wins and all six are ranked in the top-30, paced by No. 6 Oregon State and No. 8 Arizona State. The league on July 1 expands to the Pac-12, and for baseball, welcomes in Utah. Colorado does not have baseball.
Stanford Drops Final Midweek Game
Cal Poly's pitchers induced four double plays and limited the Cardinal to eight hits in a 3-1 victory over No. 24-ranked Stanford. Kyle Jensen drove in two of the three runs, as the Mustangs took a 3-1 lead against Dean McArdle after four innings. Stanford's bullpen all four hits and no runs over the final five innings. Stanford finished the season 12-2 in midweek games.
Pitching Rich Series Gives Cardinal Two Last At-Bat Wins
No. 25-ranked Stanford (W 1-0, 11 innings, L 3-7, W 2-1) picked up two wins in its last at-bat in winning its second to last regular season series against No. 27-ranked Arizona. In a series that featured the top two offenses in the Pac-10, Stanford hit just .228 and Arizona, just .216 in a series that saw a combined 14 runs scored. In the opener, it was a scoreless pitcher's dual as Mark Appel struck out nine over 8.0 innings and Kurt Heyer countered with 10 strikeouts over 9.0 innings. Tyler Gaffney scored the first of two game-winning runs, stealing scond following a two-out walk and scoring on freshman Brett Michael Doran's single in the 11th. It was also the first of two victories for Chris Reed, who threw three perfect innings. On Saturday, Kyle Simon scattered eight hits over 7.1 innings to even the series. In another pitching dual on Sunday, Jordan Pries allowed just a run in the second over 7.0 innings and Kyle Wade pitched 6.1 shutout innings. Again it came down to Stanford's last at-bat, as Gaffney drove in the tying run before scoring from second on an RBI single from Austin Wilson in the eighth, erasing the 1-0 lead. Reed closed out the final two innings, including a perfect ninth, for his sixth win of the year. Gaffney extended his hit streak to 14 games, Brian Ragira to 10 games.
Season in a Nutshell
Stanford embarked on the 2011 campaign with the top two recruiting classes. The Cardinal features upwards of seven or eight underclassmen in its everyday lineup, having survived top-15 road trips to No. 17-ranked Rice, No. 3 Vandy and No. 6 Texas to begin the year and a road schedule that has featured 25 road games this season. Following a 15-day layoff for finals and unexpected rain, Stanford won nine of 11 to end March and rise to No. 11 nationally. April featured an unexpected series loss at USC and then three-straight weekends against the top-15 of Oregon State (loss), UCLA (win) and at Arizona State (loss). Stanford won six-straight to begin May and after briefly dropping out of the top-25 have remained in the top-30 all year. Following a preseason loss to weekend starter Brett Mooneyham (finger), the weekend staff has been relatively stable with Mark Appel and Jordan Pries, with senior Danny Sandbrink earning his away into the rotation and Dean McArdle serving as the midweek starter after starting the year as the Sunday starter. Appel has had maybe the toughest road, featuring a half dozen starters that are likely on the fastrack to the majors in the next two years. Appel has lost three one-run games to the top junior arms in the country. Chris Reed has anchored the bullpen with six wins and six saves. At the plate, the lineup has remained similar, with the only changes coming when center fielder Jake Stewart was out the first two weeks of May (appendix) and Austin Wilson had a brief mid year slump in right.
Closing the Door
Following a near five perfect innings of relief, and two wins, over the weekend against Arizona, Stanford closer Chris Reed could be following in National closer' Drew Storen's footsteps, as the lefthanded reliever is projected No. 59 in the June draft by Baseball America. He could be as high as a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. Reed has produced six saves, a 6-2 record and a 2.80 ERA overall and 2.01 ERA in 24 relief appearances. Storen was the tenth overall selection two years ago. As BA noted on Reed, "Sits 92-94 out of Stanford's bullpen with good secondary stuff--could start as a pro."
Riding the Streaks
Entering the weekend, OF Tyler Gaffney is riding a 15-game hit streak. Brian Ragira's 10-game hit streak ended on Tuesday with an 0-for-4 day as he hit .476 during the streak, while Gaffney's has continued to raise his average to .312 on the season. Kenny Diekroeger (23 games in 2010 and 16 games in 2011) has the two longest streaks over the last two years.
Hit Streaks (since 1988*)
37, Jeffrey Hammonds, 1990
28, Troy Paulsen, 1988
26, Carlos Quentin, 2003
23, DIEKROEGER, 2010
21, Brian Hall, 2004
20, Ryan Garko, 2001
19, Josh Hochgesang, 1997
17, Sam Fuld, 2003
16, John Mayberry, Jr., 2003
16, DIEKROEGER, 2011
15, GAFFNEY, 2011
15, Donny Lucy, 2004
15, Danny Putnam, 2004
15, Andy Topham, 2001
15, Jason Cooper, 2002
15, Paul Carey, 1988
(*-partial records from 1988 to 1994)
Piscotty Flat Out Hits
Following three hits on Tuesday, sophomore 3B Stephen Piscotty leads the club with a .364 average and team-best 22 multi-hit games. He is second on the team with 34 RBIs. His 11 doubles is second to Zach Jones' 15.
Both Mark Appel and Jordan Pries rebounded with solid no-decisions on Friday and Sunday after tough starts at Oregon. Appel pitched eight shutout innings and tied his career-high with nine strikeouts in a Friday no-decision, while Pries, who had been just 1-4 in the Pac-10, allowed just one run over seven innings.
Sandbrink Back in the Rotation
Senior Danny Sandbrink has spent the last five weekends in the rotation, giving up 14 earned runs over 28.2 innings for an ERA of 4.39 ERA. The righthander has reached the sixth in four of those starts, going 1-1 over that stretch.
Still Pretty Young
After everyday starting catcher Zach Jones-- a four year starter, the Cardinal start upwards of eight underclassmen in its everyday lineups from freshmen Brian Ragira (1B), Austin Wilson (RF), Lonnie Kauppila (2B) and Brian Guymon (OF/DH) to sophomores Kenny Diekroeger (SS), Stephen Piscotty (3B), Jake Stewart (CF) and Tyler Gaffney (LF/CF).
Get Your Degree Under Marquess and Make the Majors
Of Stanford's 54 Major Leaguers under Mark Marquess, 46 have earned their degrees. Of the 12 Major Leaguers from Stanford in 2010, nine earned their degrees. An A1 feature in the San Jose Mercury News on February 28, featured both newly minted Major Leaguers, Jason Castro and Drew Storen, headed back to school to finish up. This season, Sam Fuld, Jed Lowrie, John Mayberry and Carlos Quentin all have their degrees among current Big Leaguers. In addition, two general managers, Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Kenny Williams, are Stanford graduates. A Wall Street Journal report said that only two dozen Major Leaguers had earned their degrees in 2010.
From the Diamond to a Degree
Stanford academics and athletics continues to rank amongst the nation's elite as Stanford Baseball, with an academic progress report number of 985, was ranked in the top-10 percent of all Division-I baseball programs. Some Cardinal Major Leaguers who have earned their degrees include: Gold Glove catcher Bob Boone, Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell, All Star Mike Mussina, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., former manager A.J. Hinch and long-time Major Leaguers Mike Aldrete and Jeffrey Hammonds.
Major League Style
Since the turn of the Century, Stanford has had 86 players all-time reach the Majors. Marquess has coached 54 Major Leaguers since 1977 (55 have made the Majors with current White Sox GM Kenny Williams only playing football at Stanford).
Including Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart (running back and outfielder), current head coach Mark Marquess (who was a quarterback, defensive back and punt returner) and NFL Hall of Famer John Elway (and outfielder and quarterback), the Cardinal have had a number of great two-sport stars. One of the first was Ernie Nevers, who starred for the Cardinal in the early part of the 20th Centruy. That list has included: Major League pitcher Joe Borchard (also a QB), NFL and MLB player Chad Hutchinson (RHP and QB), 1940s Major Leaguer Lloyd Merriman, Brian Johnson (QB) and John Lynch (QB and RHP). Orange Bowl Champion and backup running back Tyler Gaffney is the latest two-sport athlete.